When it comes to whiter teeth in a flash, ZOOM is the way to go

Those morning cups of coffee may be great for jumpstarting your mornings, but they don’t do much for your teeth. Coffee, soda, tea and red wine are some of the worst culprits when it comes to darkening your smile. And while genetics and a person’s lifestyle habits also play a role in the brightness of an individual’s smile, advances in dental technology have opened the door for options when it comes to whitening teeth.

The outer, visible layer of the tooth is called the enamel. Although tooth enamel is considered the hardest substance in the human body – even harder than bones – it can dissolve, decay or become weakened when exposed to acids and bacteria, which are common in the mouth. Daily habits of eating and drinking affect enamel, which is why good oral hygiene is key to keeping your smile bright and white.

But even the best home care can’t always keep teeth looking their best. Just like it’s impossible to keep a brand-new pair of white sneakers perfectly clean if you wear them, the same is true for your teeth. At Just Wright Dental, we offer two great options for patients interested in whitening their teeth. 

The first option involves customized bleaching trays. Typically, done during a routine dental cleaning appointment, this whitening option is best suited for individuals who prefer to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their own homes. A mold of the patient’s teeth is made, from which a heavy plastic bleaching tray is created. In addition to the trays, patients are also given several syringes of bleaching gel. After brushing their teeth, patients place small drops of the gel inside the bleaching trays and place the trays in their mouth. Most patients wear the trays for about 30 minutes each day for 7 to 10 days to reach their fullest whitening potential.  One of the benefits to selecting the customized tray option is the ability to purchase additional whitening gel any time throughout the year for touch-up whitening as desired.

For patients looking for a whitening at lightning-fast speed, we are proud to offer ZOOM Whitespeed. This in-office treatment involves three 15 minute sessions, which can be done on different dates, but is typically performed in one sitting. This treatment uses a special LED light to help patients safely reach a brighter, whiter smile in no time. A team member applies a special gel to the teeth before positioning the light in front of the patient’s mouth. While individual results can vary, ZOOM Whitespeed is clinically proven to whiten teeth up to eight shades in 45 minutes.

If you’re ready for brighter, whiter smile this summer, look no further than Just Wright Dental and call us today!

Dr. Justin Wright is a general dentist in Corsicana with an affinity for implant dentistry and bow fishing. When he’s not regaling his patients of his outdoor exploits, he’s spending time with his wife Jenni and their two young sons, Cooper and Cy. To learn more about his practice or how he and his team can help you or your family keep your smiles healthy, call 903-225-2330 or visit www.justwrightdental.com

Show off a new smile in one day

For some it’s the eyes, others say it’s hair, but according to a USA Today poll, 47 percent of people surveyed said the first thing they notice about a person they meet for the first time is their smile.

A smile is the result of feeling happy and sharing that with the world. But far too often, genuinely happy people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed of them.  There are countless reasons why a person may not be happy with their smile. For some patients, genetics handed them teeth that are prone to disease, others may have broken or missing teeth due to an accident and in some cases, patients may have neglected their dental care in their early years, sometimes due to no fault of their own, and now are suffering the consequences.

Regardless of the reason, at Just Wright Dental, we take pride in being able to not only provide our patients with the skill and technology necessary to transform their smile, but also give them options to make it affordable to do so.  And the results for our patients, are truly life changing.

Just recently, a 55-year-old lady stopped in our office for a consultation. She had gone to another dentist for an evaluation and that doctor told her she needed a traditional upper denture and a removable partial on the bottom. She was concerned because she knew that a traditional denture would not be very stable in her mouth. She wanted to be able to eat and speak without the worry of teeth coming out of her mouth and she wanted a smile she could be proud of.

Within two weeks of her initial visit with us, this patient was scheduled in our office for implant supported dentures on her upper and lower teeth under IV sedation. The patient came into the office with the smile she’d been hiding for years, and a few short hours later, she left with a brand-new smile. When she returned to the office for her post-op visit two weeks later, the staff almost didn’t recognize her. Not just because of her beautiful new smile, but because her entire demeanor had changed.

She gushed over how much she “LOVED” her new teeth, but shared with us a statement that we hear time and time again and is the reason we are so passionate about what we do. She said that the effervescent person we were seeing now was really the person she’s always been, she’d just hidden it along with the smile she was embarrassed of.  “Because of you, I found myself again and for that I will always be grateful,” she told us. “If I had known about you I would have done this a long time ago!”

If you or someone you love is hiding behind a smile they’re not proud of, we encourage you to call our office today and let us help you take back the self-esteem and pride that is keeping you from enjoying life to its fullest.

Dr. Justin Wright is a general dentist in Corsicana with an affinity for implant dentistry and bow fishing. When he’s not regaling his patients of his outdoor exploits, he’s spending time with his wife Jenni and their two young sons, Cooper and Cy. To learn more about his practice or how he and his team can help you or your family keep your smiles healthy, call 903-225-2330 or visit www.justwrightdental.com

Sonic toothbrushes are the best tools for the job

When it comes to keeping teeth healthy, everyone knows brushing at least twice a day is the best advice around. And while most folks don’t give much thought to the tool that gets that job done, it’s come a long way over the years.

From as early as 3000 B.C., ancient civilizations used various types of “chew sticks.”  These thin twigs were frayed at the end so they could be rubbed against the teeth to help keep them clean. The earliest known “modern” toothbrush dates back to about 1498 when it was invented in China. Bristles on this brush were made of stiff hog hairs that were fastened to handles made of bone or bamboo. It wasn’t until 1938 that Dupont de Nemours introduced nylon bristles, which are used in toothbrushes today.

Now days, brushes come in a seemly endless variety of brush head shapes, colors and designs. But when it comes to getting teeth the cleanest, the best option is to toss those old fashioned manual brushes in favor of an electric toothbrush. 

At Just Wright Dental, we offer patients the option to purchase a Sonicare toothbrush at cost, in order to encourage excellent home oral care. We like the Sonicare because it’s comfortable and easy to use plus it removes up to seven times more plaque than a traditional toothbrush. That’s because the Sonicare makes 31,000 brush strokes per minute compared to the average 300 strokes per minute when using a manual toothbrush.

One of the biggest problems we see with traditional brushes, is often people brushing too hard. This can cause gum irritation and abrasion. With an electric toothbrush, there’s no need to apply any pressure as the brush moves automatically, patients only need to hold it to the surface of the teeth.

Another problem an electric toothbrush solves is ensuring patients are brushing for the appropriate amount of time. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average amount of time a person spends brushing with a manual tooth brush is only 45 to 70 seconds. At least two minutes of brushing is needed to properly remove debris and bacteria. The Sonicare toothbrush has built-in, two-minute brushing timer as well as alerting beeps to ensure all four quadrants of the mouth are brushed for the proper amount of time.

There are several different models of Sonicare’s available, one especially for children. If you’re ready to toss out the old and move on with better brushing habits, stop by our office and check out what’s available. You’re smile will thank you for it!     

Dr. Justin Wright is a general dentist in Corsicana with an affinity for implant dentistry and bow fishing. When he’s not regaling his patients of his outdoor exploits, he’s spending time with his wife Jenni and their two young sons, Cooper and Cy. To learn more about his practice or how he and his team can help you or your family keep your smiles healthy, call 903-225-2330 or visit www.justwrightdental.com

Straighter teeth may be a simple solution

When most people think about what it takes to get beautiful, straight teeth, many picture the awkward teen years complete with shiny braces and head gear. While traditional metal braces aren’t going anywhere, the reality is there are other affordable and less noticeable options available for patients of all ages.

At Just Wright Dental, we see many adult patients who have crooked teeth that have bothered them for years. The first thing most of them tell us is that as much as they’d love to straighten their teeth, they would never consider braces to correct them. Many are surprised to learn we offer a system that will correct their teeth with the use of clear, hardly-noticeable, plastic molds.

This system, called Simpli5, uses up to five sequential clear trays for the upper, lower or both arches of the mouth to correctly align teeth. Simpli5 is best for patients with medium to mild cases of tooth crowding or spacing, or those patients who had been in braces in their younger years and have had a mild orthodontic relapse due to not wearing their retainer. 

To begin the process, our staff takes a mold of the patient’s teeth needing alignment. That is sent off the Simpli5 lab where technicians ensure the severity of the patient’s correction can be performed using the trays. Once this is determined, the lab creates up to five different trays that are customized for each patient’s specific dental needs. While the amount of time each patient will need to wear each set of trays to reach the results they’re after differs, most patients will wear each set of trays for a few weeks at a time.

Once the teeth have been corrected to match the first set of trays, the patient will begin wearing the second set and continue in the manner until the patient’s teeth have been fully corrected. In addition to being minimally noticeable, the trays, which are meant to be worn day and night, can be easily removed for brushing and flossing, unlike traditional braces. These factors, plus the fact that the Simpli5 trays are often less costly than other orthodontic option, make them a great option for many of our patients.

 If you’ve been bothered by a not-quite-perfect smile and you’ve thought the time for correcting it has passed you by, give our office a call and let us see if Simpli5 is right for you!

Dr. Justin Wright is a general dentist in Corsicana with an affinity for implant dentistry and bow fishing. When he’s not regaling his patients of his outdoor exploits, he’s spending time with his wife Jenni and their two young sons, Cooper and Cy. To learn more about his practice or how he and his team can help you or your family keep your smiles healthy, call 903-225-2330 or visit www.justwrightdental.com

Tips for helping senior patients care for their teeth

There comes a time when the loved ones who taught us how to tie our shoes, comb our hair and cross the street may need our help with some of those same tasks.  And while dealing with this new normal can be a learning experience for everyone involved, there are a few simple suggestions and products available that can help make keeping their mouths healthy one less thing to worry about.

Some older patients may have worn dentures for decades and have no natural teeth, while others may have almost all or all of their own teeth. Regardless of their individual situation, the first step in ensuring good oral health is to schedule an appointment with a dental professional. At Just Wright Dental, we would perform a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s mouth and teeth.

If the patient no longer has natural teeth and wears dentures, we would evaluate the patient’s mouth and gums. We would also evaluate the patient’s current dentures to ensure a proper fit and that they were not causing sore spots or areas of irritation. This comprehensive evaluation provides the caregiver with a detailed look at any problems or potential problems, and also offers a clearer picture of the patient’s overall oral health. More times than not, a professional cleaning by one of our gentle and thorough hygienists is also recommended at the same time.

Once problems have been identified and a plan established to take care of any issues, helping to create or maintain good oral health habits at home is the next priority. Our hygienists can show patients and their caregivers the best ways to address specific problems, but in general there are a few ways to make home care a bit easier.

The first is to identify the most comfortable and easiest place to brush each day. For most of us that’s the bathroom, but with older patients, it may be the kitchen or dining room. Often, it’s easier for these patients to sit at a table next to a bowl of water, rather than stand at a sink. For patients who are unable to brush and floss without help, it’s important that their caregiver find a position that is comfortable for both parties either behind or sitting in front of the patient so that all of their teeth can be seen and reached.

For older patients who are able to brush and floss by themselves, it is often helpful to look for larger handled toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes, such as a Sonicare, are excellent because of their over-sized handle and ease of use. If traditional floss is difficult to use, floss holders or flossing picks may be a more manageable solution.

Denture-wearing patients can gently brush their gums and tongue to freshen breath and remove bacteria. They should also make sure they rise their dentures and keep them free from food and debris daily, and following the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and soaking.

If you or someone you know is responsible for an older loved one’s care, call us today and let us help with keeping his or her oral health at its best.

Dr. Justin Wright is a general dentist in Corsicana with an affinity for implant dentistry and bow fishing. When he’s not regaling his patients of his outdoor exploits, he’s spending time with his wife Jenni and their two young sons, Cooper and Cy. To learn more about his practice or how he and his team can help you or your family keep your smiles healthy, call 903-225-2330 or visit www.justwrightdental.com

Clearing up the confusion about dental insurance

Somethings in life are pretty easy to understand. Two plus two is four.  Don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Agree to all suggested bathroom breaks on a road trip. You get the idea. But when it comes to dental insurance, easy might not be the adjective most people use to describe it.

From figuring out co-pays and deductibles to calculating waiting periods and coverage percentages, learning to understand a dental plan can feel like a second job. At Just Wright Dental, our staff goes the extra mile for patients by not only verifying their plans and filing their claims, but also helping patients understand the process.

While every plan – even those covered by the same company – are different, one of the most common questions we hear has to do with in-network or out-of-network providers. There are some dental plans that will only pay out if patients go to a list of providers selected not by the patient, but by the insurance company itself. Most of these plans are HMO or DMO plans. If purchasing such a plan through your employer, the HMO or DMO plan may look to have the least expensive monthly deductible payments, but many patients find they must drive a long distance to get to a provider “on the list.” And many times if they do, the wait time for an appointment can be extremely lengthy.

PPO plans allow patients to go to any dentist they choose. However, with some plans there may be stipulations about in-network and out-of-network providers.  If a doctor chooses to be an in-network provider, he or she basically contracts with the insurance company in question for payment at a set rate. The insurance company provides the dentist with the dollar amounts the company will pay for each procedure, regardless of the provider’s fee for those services. Sometimes, particularly when it comes to cleanings and preventative care, this may mean patients don’t have to pay anything out of pocket in the office. Other times, the patient may be required to pay the difference between the actual cost of the service charged by the dentist and what the insurance company pays. This is why it’s not uncommon for patients who, say for example, were covered by Insurance Company A through their work for years and never had to pay out of pocket for their annual cleanings to suddenly be given a $10 or $20 bill at each visit after their employer changed to Insurance Company B. The set rate Insurance Company A paid for cleanings was more than what Insurance Company B pays.

Some insurance plans pay a lower percentage of those fees to out-of-network providers. And while many people automatically think that means they’ll save more by going to an in-network provider, that doesn’t always prove to be true. If an in-network provider charges higher fees than an out-of-network provider, the patient may not be saving at all.

At Just Wright Dental, we pride ourselves on providing a high quality of service at an affordable price. We work with all PPO insurance plans and offer reasonable third-party financing options and payment plans. Additionally, we created the Wright Savings Plan for patients without insurance or for those who are underinsured or who just aren’t happy with their dental insurance options. This yearly plan gives patients access to all the x-rays, annual cleanings and exams they need for the year for one low price. Plus, it guarantees a discount on any dental work or additional treatment they need for the year.

If insurance issues have kept you from getting the dental care you need, don’t wait any longer. Call our office today and let us help!

Dr. Justin Wright is a general dentist in Corsicana with an affinity for implant dentistry and bow fishing. When he’s not regaling his patients of his outdoor exploits, he’s spending time with his wife Jenni and their two young sons, Cooper and Cy. To learn more about his practice or how he and his team can help you or your family keep your smiles healthy, call 903-225-2330 or visit www.justwrightdental.com

Fluoride treatments can help keep cavities at bay

By Dr. Justin Wright, DDS
Special to the Richland Chambers Progress

Ben Franklin said that, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and while he was talking about fire prevention at the time, his advice is just as true when it comes to dental health.

Give anyone a choice between preventing cavities or having fillings done on their teeth and it’s no secret which option most people would pick. And while there is no 100 percent guarantee against cavities, there are several simple things that can be done to help prevent them.

Establishing good oral habits – brushing at least twice a day, flossing, a getting professional dental check-ups and cleanings every six months – is the easiest and most effective way to prevent cavities and other dental problems. Recently, we discussed dental sealants as a good cavity deterrent for children.

These sealants are typically recommended for children whose permeant molars have recently erupted. A special coating is painted on the molars, providing extra protection against decay during the years when children are prone to forget or not brush as well as they should.

Another option that the Just Wright Dental team recommends, particularly for children is the application of fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods and water. Every day minerals are both lost and added to the enamel of our teeth. Acids formed from the bacteria in our mouths attack the enamel causing minerals to be lost and the enamel to be weakened. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and more are redeposited to the tooth’s surface in various ways, such as from foods we eat ingest and fluorinated toothpaste.

As long as the amount of minerals lost doesn’t exceed the amount replaced, there is typically no problem. But if tooth enamel isn’t remineralized properly, it can lead to cavities. To help ensure this doesn’t happen, we recommend children receive annual fluoride treatments. These special treatments, which most often are covered by dental insurance, are typically done during a routine dental cleaning. The fluoride coating is applied to the teeth in just a matter of minutes and can provide an extra level of protection against cavities.

While these treatments are most often recommended for children and teens, (particularly those in braces), many adults can benefit from them as well. Patients who have had a lot of recent decay, those who suffer persistent dry mouth or patients who will soon be undergoing radiation treatments, all would benefit greatly from professional fluoride treatments.  Keep your smile strong and beautiful. Call Just Wright Dental today to help ensure a healthier smile tomorrow.

Dr. Justin Wright is a general dentist in Corsicana with an affinity for implant dentistry and bow fishing. When he’s not regaling his patients of his outdoor exploits, he’s spending time with his wife Jenni and their two young sons, Cooper and Cy. To learn more about his practice or how he and his team can help you or your family keep your smiles healthy, call 903-225-2330 or visit www.justwrightdental.com

Justifying the Cost of All-On-4® Implants

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The decision to restore your smile isn’t a small one and choosing between different methods of treatment can be exhausting.  All-On-4® Implants are one of the simplest, most permanent means of restoring original function to your mouth.  Four implants are placed in your bone, and after a brief healing period, a permanent, titanium-reinforced bridge of teeth is placed.  The cost of All-On-4® Implant restorations can cause some to pause, but the benefits of this treatment far outweigh the expense. 

Restoring your mouth serves both a functional purpose as well as the positive psychological impact of a beautiful smile. When your jaw is no longer supported by teeth, over time you can develop a condition known as a collapsed bite.  In addition to the inability to chew food well, it can lead to many secondary issues including headaches, jaw and neck pain and disorders of the temporomandibular joint (or TMJ). 

Instead of replacing individual teeth with implant supported crowns, this method uses four implants, strategically placed using computer guided surgery to determine where the most bone is.  This enables people that have areas of bone loss to restore their smile without the need for bone grafting and can reduce the failure of the implants themselves.

Over the course of a person’s life, the soft tissue of your mouth changes.  Gums recede and as you age your dental ridges may change.  Traditional dentures need to be relined every so many years because they become loose over time.  This can affect your speech, ability to chew well and can cause sore spots in your mouth.  They can also get lost or crack if dropped.  

The cost of All-On-4® Implants is also less over time compared to most traditional dentures. With this method, a precision-milled bridge is directly and permanently cemented into place over the implants themselves and don’t rely on the soft tissue for support.  When the implants are placed, a provisional bridge with be inserted while your tissue heals, and the implants integrate into your bone. Once this healing time passes, a permanent titanium-reinforced bridge will be cemented over the implant abutments.  There is no relining necessary and they won’t get lost in your purse or accidently be thrown out.  There’s also no need for sticky, goopy denture adhesives and you’ll always be able to speak clearly without worry of your dentures slipping. Chances are you’ll forget they’re even there – try doing that with traditional dentures!

With dedicated home care and regular in-office cleanings and exams, the All-On-4® Implant method can last many years and restore function to your mouth and give you the self-confidence to smile.  The cost of All-On-4® Implants may seem like a big investment, but the ability to chew and a beautiful smile are priceless. 

Dr. Justin Wright is a general dentist in Corsicana with an affinity for implant dentistry and bow fishing. When he’s not regaling his patients of his outdoor exploits, he’s spending time with his wife Jenni and their two young sons, Cooper and Cy. To learn more about his practice or how he and his team can help you or your family keep your smiles healthy, call 903-225-2330 or visit www.justwrightdental.com